Strife and Secession in Sudan


In January 2011, the people of the southern provinces of Sudan voted nearly unanimously to declare the independence of South Sudan from the North. The referendum is the culmination of an armistice in the longest-running civil conflict in Africa, between the Sudanese government seated in Khartoum and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) of the South. This article argues that the impending emergence of two new nation-states has been greatly influenced by two developments: the failure of democratization in the country, and structural flaws associated with the nature and implementation of the peace agreement brokered by the international community in 2005.

The question Medani addresses is: having failed to build unity out of diversity, will Sudan plunge into conflict or even a new round of civil war? Drawing on the literature on secession and conflict resolution, this article addresses this question, focusing on the probability of renewed conflict following the secession of South Sudan. Medani outlines a framework for identifying the potential for future conflict, and offers an analysis of potential scenarios following the referendum vote of 2011.